Maureen Hansen | Collection Stories
Artwork: Maureen Hansen, City Hall Maryborough c.1991-2, oil on canvas board. Fraser Coast Regional Council Art Collection. Image © the artist.
"As [my painting tutor] Bill Robinson used to say, if you paint your life you can’t go wrong."
Born and raised in Maryborough, Hansen completed her fine arts degree at QUT in Brisbane in 1988. She was a member of the first cohort of graduating students from the then newly created Bachelor of Fine Arts course. Drawing from its history of amalgamations with Brisbane College of Advanced Education, and BCAE’s earlier incarnations, QUT has had a rich tradition of visual arts teaching. Notable teachers include Betty Churcher (who went on to be Director of the National Gallery of Australia from 1990-1997), Roy Churcher and Mervyn Moriarty (founder of the Flying Art School, now the Flying Arts). For Hansen, celebrated Queensland artist William Robinson, who worked at BCAE through the 1980s, was a formative influence. Other important teachers included June Tupicoff, Joe Furlonger and Tom Risley.
A feature of Robinson’s work is the strong sense of interior, almost idiosyncratic and marvellous, vision that pervades his approach to his predominantly landscape and portraiture practice. Drawing heavily from his immediate world, Robinson’s work is at once grounded and distinctive. These qualities are evident in Hansen’s practice. Her subject matter – typically cityscapes, still life and portraiture – celebrates her surrounding world. A quiet sense of intimate but vibrant observation permeates her work. Her compositions, typically underpinned by a sophisticated eye and deep understanding of a colourist tradition, often shimmer with a type of understated vibrancy.
"Inspiration is always close at hand"
Hansen has exhibited extensively and has received many awards for her work including the Melville Haysom Memorial Art Scholarship, Queensland Art Gallery, 1993, and the Tattersalls Landscape Art Prize, 2007. Along with representation in the Parliament House Art Collection, Canberra, and the Museum of Brisbane Collection, a number of Hansen’s works from the early 1990s are part of the Fraser Coast Regional Council Art Collection. Capturing a definitive essence of Maryborough they include: Customs House Maryborough 1991, Maryborough Court House 1991, View to Post Office Tower 1992 and City Hall Maryborough c.1991-2.